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Your Mileage May Vary: Green Lantern Corps #42

by  in Comic News Comment

Of this week’s comic haul, Green Lantern Corps #42 seems to have gotten quite a reaction. Mostly due to the end, of course.

(I’m betting he’ll be back in a month.)

Peter of My Chaotic Mind sadly looks back at the history of Kyle Rayner:

Towards the end of the issue, Kyle realises he’s no better than them. As mentioned, the thugs outclassed Terry in age, size and strength and Kyle outclasses them because he’s wearing a Green Lantern ring. That scene alone made it stick in my mind as one of my favourite storylines. I later tracked down to trade, “Brother’s Keeper” and while the following storylines didn’t quite have a scene to match it, were still good.

Kyle was also DC’s answer to Peter Parker, even if they wouldn’t admit to it. Two of his three key girlfriends (Alex and Jen) died because of him. He was a freelance artist and it wasn’t until the job that lead to him meeting Terry that he got a decent paycheck on a frequent basis. I’ve never been a big fan of Batman and it’s only recently that I’ve developed an interest in and respect for Superman. Kyle was the best example of a Marvel style hero (one who deals with real life problems) in the DC universe, and acted pretty much as the doorway for a Marvel fan like me to get interested in DC.

Chris Thorn of Registered Weapon is irate:

The death of Kyle is the culmination of DC’s marginalization and disinterest in the character since the return of Hal Jordan (for the uniformed, check out the wiki history). The move wreaks of spite and contempt for fans for preferring any Green Lantern over Hal Jordan and the Silver Age. Kyle has had target on his back for that reason for awhile. He’s the brightest light of an era that DC is hellbent on rewriting out of current continuity: the 90s (I could even argue the post-Crisis era too). One of the prevalent plot devices in that decade was the emergence of replacement/legacy heroes such as Jean Paul Valley, four Supermen, Wally West, Connor Hawke, Ben Reilly, Jack Knight, Artemis, young Tony Stark, The Ray and plenty of other minor heroes. Some of the heroes were editorially designed to be temporary, others were reinventions of characters not printed in decades. Despite being part of a stunt, whether or not the character WAS a stunt depended on the writer. While Emerald Twilight meets the criteria of an ultimate comics money grab with a legendary hero turning villain, killing his brothers-in-arms and destroying the decades old foundations of the intellectual property, the result was far from it.

While Kirk Warren of the Weekly Crisis enjoyed the issue:

Yes, Kyle Rayner actually dies in this issue. There was no pre-hype, no early spoilers and no indication he was set to die in any way. In fact, everyone pegged him as completely safe. He and Guy had their niche in this book and the brother-like relationship was a highlight of the Green Lantern Corps title. Kyle even had some great relationship building moments with Soranik Natu earlier in the issue that had me hoping to see more of it in the future.

Instead, he died saving the corps he helped rebuild with a heartfelt, “I love you.”, to Soranik and a, “you’ve been like a brother”, farewell to Guy before taking the fallen Alpha Lantern’s core and detonating it in the middle of the Black Lantern’s, ending that threat on Oa and saving the Central Power Battery. I know it’s hard to take a death seriously in an event like Blackest Night, which hinges on the dead coming back to haunt our heroes, but this hit me like a punch in the gut and Kyle was the character that first introduced me to Green Lantern comics.”

So what do you think?